Sherece Shavel

Contributing Faculty
College of Social and Behavioral Health
Barbara Solomon School of Social Work
Master of Social Work (MSW)

Dr. Sherece Shavel is a licensed social work practitioner with a career exceeding 20 years in areas of counseling, case management, teaching, program development and administrative leadership. Dr. Shavel performed in various community and correctional settings before transitioning to higher education 5 years ago to prepare individuals for advanced social work practice utilizing both traditional and remote learning modes. As an educator, she strives to instill hope and passion for the critical causes grounding the social work profession in the hearts and minds of every student, advancing both social justice and social change. Her teaching practice involves inspiring students to evolve into lifelong learning professionals by building a sense of curiosity, open-mindedness, and a passionate appetite for both knowledge and understanding that leads to upholding a professional posture that promotes transformative continuity of the social work profession. As a social worker, her professional initiative, in part, is to sensitize the social consciousness of others to the parenting challenges being confronted by formerly incarcerated fathers as well as advancing their social position within the family unit and the broader community. At Walden University, she teaches courses in the Master of Social Work program as a contributing faculty member.

Over the years, Dr. Shavel has successfully upheld over 13 local and national leadership appointments as well as facilitated over 100 training and development events on a variety of topics in both the private and public sector in multiple locations across the United States. While working in the correctional setting, she designed and implemented three counseling program initiatives as well as an educational life skills program U-Turn: Straight Talk for Offenders Negotiating Change designed for the transitional correctional setting to address psycho-social-spiritual concerns for optimal outcomes around reentry and reintegration. Currently, Dr. Shavel is Co-Founder and Inaugural President of the Central Texas Association of Black Social Workers, Interim Chair of the McLennan County Fatherhood Coalition, as well as the Founder and Chair of the Annual Social Work and Law Symposium. She is a Board of Trustees member for STARRY which exists to nurture children, strengthen families, and restore hope through counseling, fatherhood, foster care, and family preservation services. She is the creator and host of a new social work inspired podcast Sundays with Shavel focused on uncovering issues of lived experience and journeys to greatness with general relevance to social work practice.

Dr. Shavel’s current research interest is focused on exploring the paternal experiences of formerly incarcerated African American men, post-traumatic growth among formerly incarcerated individuals, and the intersection of mental health, culture, and spirituality. In addition, research interests related to social work education and teaching forensic social work are pursued. Dr. Shavel has successfully published in several venues and presented at both national and international professional conferences.

Courses Taught

SOCW 6311 - Social Work Practice Research II


PhD, Walden University

Post-master's Certificate, Walden University

Post-master's Certificate, Walden University

Certificate, Association of College and University Educators

Certificate, National Organization of Forensic Social Work

MSW, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

BA, Seton Hall University

Public Service

STARRY, Inc., Board Member -

National Organization of Forensic Social Work, Board Member -

Annual Social Work and Law Symposium, Other -

McLennan County Fatherhood Coalition, Chair -

Central Texas Association of Black Social Workers, Other -

National Association of Social Workers - Texas Chapter, Committee Member -

Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences, Other -

Journal of Forensic Social Work, Other -

Toastmasters International, Member -


Shavel, S. Contextualizing risk and resilience among formerly incarcerated African American fathers toward healing. Journal of Forensic Social Work

Shavel, S. (2017). African American Males' Lived Experiences of Fathering Following Incarceration. Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Reicherzer, S. L., Shavel, S., Patton, J. (2013). Examining Research Issues of Power and Privilege Within a Gender-marginalized Community. Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences


Shavel, S. (2023). Research, creative activities, teaching, and learning excellence: Implications for faculty, staff, and beyond. University of Texas at Arlington

Shavel, S. (2022). Increasing professional versatility in justice work. University of Texas at Arlington

Shavel, S. (2022). Using interdisciplinary collaboration for courtroom simulation with social work students. University of Texas at Arlington

Shavel, S. (2021). The legacy of blackness in social work: A brief talk about one lesson. Central Texas Association of Black Social Workers

Shavel, S. (2021). Engaging incarcerated fathers. STARRY

Shavel, S. (2020). Reimagining Support for Non-traditional Students.

Shavel, S. (2019). (Un)Invisible Fathers: Affirming Strategies to Recognize and Reverse Paternal Distress.

Shavel, S. (2019). Combating Fathers' Distress, Cultivating Father Wellness: Tips for Family Practitioners.

Shavel, S. (2018). Necessary Intentionality: A Socially Constructed Model for Parent-child Relations with Formerly Incarcerated African American Fathers.

Shavel, S. (2018). The Balancing Act: Follow Your Dreams and Manage Your Life.

Shavel, S. (2018). Unaccustomed Yet Unashamed: A Strengths-based Review on Parent-child Reunification with Formerly Incarcerated African American Fathers.